October 26, 2012

Why I am like a woman's undergarment

This year I am taking on a very new adventure...high school librarianship.

I know, what?  Those still exist?  I thought budget cuts, ereaders, and illegal immigrants sent these bun-haired ladies packing.  Alas, no.  In fact I'm living, breathing proof that schools still value the library and it's librarian.  Oh sorry...they value their "library media centers" and their "Media specialists."  Yikes!

What I have learned at this new position is that
1) I am where I was always meant to be, and
2) Librarians are the librarians worst enemy.

I absolutely love, love being a high school librarian.  The incredible books (John Green!) the incredible students (passionate, intelligent!), the incredible staff (passionate, intelligent ).  I have never felt so at home.  Don't get me wrong, my first librarian job was the bees knees.  I cut my teeth at the most wonderful middle school ever invented.  I worked with the best of the best...I really did.  Those Reading teachers worked their asses off to get kids to love reading.  And they succeed every year.  I was just a support.  Like a bra.  Much needed, somewhat inexpensive, unnoticed, yet cradles lovingly the real goods.  Me=bra.

This time around I am taking everything I have ever learned and am very slowly making this library a sanctuary again.  For although the past librarian was extremely beloved she was not a librarian that put faith back in the profession.  The collection is old, the budget non existent.  Oh, and did I mention I'm the ONLY certified librarian in the district?!?!
So this brings me to #2.  The librarian is the librarian's worst enemy.  One teacher at the feeder middle school admitted they never went into the library because the librarian was mean, and yelled at students and teachers.  I have also heard that some librarians don't actually like to read YA books so never have anything to suggest.  WTH!  Why are you in the profession?!!!  A few English teachers become librarians as a way to retire, or work in schools in an easier position.  IF IT'S EASIER YOU AREN'T DOING IT RIGHT!

If librarians truly want to be respected for helping students achieve success, or to love reading they first have to work on themselves!

So this is my goal...my numero uno on my Life List (inspired by Mighty Girl blog's suggestion)...I am putting it out to the universe...
I want to build a platform/ program that promotes solid librarianship that focuses on 
1) Flexibility
2) Customer Service
3) Relevance  
and I want to model it, teach it, and consult for it.
Not one of my University Librarian classes or conferences talked about customer service.  Not one ever mentioned that our main objective is to SERVE our patrons in the most efficient, helpful manner.  Not...one...class.  My goal is to bring this to the forefront of Library dialogues.  My ultimate hope is that by being that relevant, crucial piece of our schools and community, people won't let the library budget be cut.  They will tie themselves to the bookshelves in protest.  With book tape, so that it won't hurt the books of course.

To be honest, I'm not sure where to begin.  Suggestions?